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Report IDs over 1,000 victims of priest abuse

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    FILE – In this June 30, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, speaks while outlining the schedule for Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to Washington, during a news conference at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. Wuerl wrote to priests to defend himself on the eve of the scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, release of a grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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    FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, left, looks toward the crowd with Pope Francis following a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Wuerl wrote to priests to defend himself on the eve of the scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, release of a grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

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    File-This Oct. 1, 2017, file photo shows Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington shaking hands with churchgoers at St. Mathews Cathedral after the Red Mass in Washington. Wuerl is defending himself ahead of a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses. He says the report will be critical of some of his actions as Pittsburgh’s bishop. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

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    FILE – In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, waves after he and Pope Francis arrived at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in the heart of Washington. Wuerl wrote to priests to defend himself on the eve of the scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, release of a grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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    File- This June 30, 2015, file photo shows Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, speaking during a news conference at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, is defending himself ahead of a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses that he says will be critical of his actions as Pittsburgh’s bishop. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Published August 14. 2018 02:21PM

HARRISBURG (AP) — A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims.

The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. The grand jury says it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report says more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

The grand jury scrutinized abuse allegations in dioceses that minister to more than half the state’s 3.2 million Catholics.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, said ahead of the report’s release that he expected to be criticized in it.

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